Throughout the weekend, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his administration’s revised budget to promote a “$100 billion California Comeback Plan.” Thus, the known colloquially as the May Revision budget includes unprecedented funding for essential state needs, such as clean energy, climate resilience for vulnerable communities, and zero-emission vehicles.
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In this sense, the budget harkens back to Governor Newsom’s remark last fall concerning the climate change emergency. Therefore, Mr. Newsom underscored that California must “accelerate (its) efforts across the board” in this regard.
The May Revision on Clean Energy
Accordingly, the May Revision proposes billions of dollars without putting more pressure on electric rates. In fact, these stable rates will be essential to keep utility bills affordable. Moreover, the budget is looking to preserve cost savings from fuel switching to electric cars and appliances.
In this sense, the funding for clean energy ($912 million) includes $35 million for resource and transmission planning for California to jumpstart the renewable energy build-out required to decarbonize the electricity system.
Another $350 million will go for pre-commercial long-duration storage projects to enable California to reduce its dependence on fossil gas plants. On the energy efficiency side, the May Revision budget will invest $375 million for upgrades at industrial plants and food processors; mainly to cut costs and emissions from several sectors.
Additionally, $20 million will go to the environmentally responsible development of offshore wind energy; and $110 million to green hydrogen production.
California strengthens its EV pathway
For Zero-Emission Vehicles development, California will deliver $1.8 billion/$3.2 billion in investment over three years. Also, the state will invest $1.4 billion to put three thousand zero-emission drayage trucks, school buses, and transit buses.
Remarkably, the state will deliver the $250 million to expand Clean Cars 4 All; thus, enabling low-income Californians to scrap their old car and replace it with a new or used option (less polluting and more efficient). Finally, $400 million will go to consumer rebates for new ZEV purchases through the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project.
Concerning the funding for Climate Resilience for Vulnerable Communities ($784 million); $100 million will be delivered over two years to subsidize the cost of constructing cool roofs on low-income residential projects. Indeed, this initiative part of the California Energy Commission’s BUILD program.
Also, $200 million will go to urban greening projects, $50 million to fund the Low Income Weatherization Program. Also, $495 million over three years will support the Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities program. In fact, this program empowers communities that have high levels of pollution.
Similarly, $200 million will be invested in remediating and protecting local communities from abandoned oil wells. Another $15 million will be used as incentives to reduce super climate-polluting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). And finally, $5 million will be destined to support the Fifth Climate Assessment.